1          Obtain qualified export counseling and develop a master international marketing plan before starting an export business. The plan should clearly define goals, objectives and problem encountered.

2          Secure a commitment from top management to overcome the initial difficulties and financial requirements of exporting. Although the early delays and costs involved in exporting may seem difficult to justify in comparison with established domestic sales, the exporter should take a long-range view of the process and carefully monitor international marketing efforts.

3          Take sufficient care in selecting overseas distributors. The complications involved in overseas communications and transportations require international distributors to act more independently than their domestic counterparts.

4          Establish a basis for profitable operations and orderly growth. Although no overseas enquiries should be ignored, the firm that acts mainly in response to unsolicited trade leads is thrusting success to the element of chance.

5          Devote continuing attention to export business when the local markets booms. Too many companies turn to exporting when business falls off in the domestic market. When domestic business starts to boom again, they neglect their export trade or relegate it to a secondary position.

6          Treat international distributors on an equal basis with domestic counterpart. Companies often carry out institutional advertising campaigns, special discount offers, sales incentives programmes, special credit terms programs, warranty offers and so on in the domestic market but fail to make similar offers to their international distributors.

7          Do not assume that a given market technique and product will automatically be successful in all countries. What works in Japan may fail in Saudi Arabia. Each market has to be treated separately to ensure maximum success.

8          Be willing to modify products to meet regulations or cultural preference of other countries. Local safety and security codes as well as import restrictions cannot be ignored by foreign distributors.

9          Print service, sale and warranty messages in locally understood languages. Although a distributor’s top management may speak English, it is unlikely that all sales service personnel have this capability.

10        Provide readily available servicing for the product. A product without the necessary service support can acquire a bad reputation quickly.


 Many companies compete and win in foreign markets everyday: Here are their tips for success

 Zoom in on the most promising markets

Successful companies concentrate on one foreign market at a time, moving on to the next only after other succeeding in the last.


Learn from experienced companies

Talk to companies that have succeeded in your target market. Many are willing to share what works and what doesn’t. Contact your industry association to find names of successful exporting companies in your sector and target market.


Plan for the resources that you’ll need

Exploring foreign markets can take longer and cost more than expected. Be prepared for additional costs for market research, product launchings and personal visits.


Gear up for demand

Be prepared to meet increased demand from a successful foreign sale. Don’t forget to plan how you will adapt your product or service to the needs and tastes of your target market.


Make personal visits

Building business relationship in foreign markets is best done face-to-face. Phone calls, faxes and electronic mail are great for follow up, but nothing beats meeting your prospect in person


Study the market and the culture

Business people and customers in most foreign markets appreciates efforts to learn about their culture


Set realistic expectations

Developing foreign markets is a long term commitment it takes time, effort and resources. Make sure that your management is committed to export venture. Be prepared for the long haul and persevere.


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